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Introduction

My European Travel Diary (015): Cologne Capriccio, Ancient Civilisation and Modern Culture

Cologne is the first city that I visited in Germany. Cologne University and the great church in Cologne were built in 1388 and 1248 respectively and the city is proud of them. 

The interesting thing is that it took 532 years to complete the great church, from 1248 to 1880. It is said that this is a world record for the longest time to build a church. Also it is as famous as Notre Dame de Paris for its Gothic architecture. 

The Great Church in Cologne is so high that I had to go back beyond the gateway to the square, and then back further still to get it all in the picture. It was raining and there was a strong wind, so much so that I couldn’t open my umbrella, so I gave up trying to keep myself dry and just tried to protect the camera lens. Finally I found a place where I could frame the whole of the church in the viewfinder, I was so happy and tried to press the shutter as soon as possible to save the lens from getting wet. 

By the time I had took the picture I had lost the rest of my group, there were too many people around me, but then they had blue eyes, high noses and golden hair. What could I do? Ask? I knew that we were due to have lunch at the Beijing Restaurant and so I just tried to find my way there. 

When I left the Beijing Restaurant, many students had appeared on the streets; they were on roller-skates and wearing bright, colorful sports clothes. They didn’t have umbrellas and seemed to have so much energy and vigor skating in the rain. 

When I followed the figures of these brave athletes with my camera I suddenly had a thought: the Great Church and the young students, the ancient civilisation and modern culture in perfect harmony. Maybe this is one of the reasons that Germany has developed one of the strongest economies in such a short time since World War II. 

--Shirley 

( Written on 31st.,Doc.,2000; Edited on 14th.,2004)

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